Budapest is one of the lesser known European cities, but is definitely worth the trip. The whole city is super safe, clean, and absolutely stunning. On top of that, it is one of the cheapest European cities to visit, and also has so many things to do and places to explore. I hope this guide can inspire you to visit this beautiful city one day, as well as set you up for a great trip!
Although Budapest is an amazing place to be, you definitely don’t need to spend too long in this city; it is extremely walkable and not too big, making it a perfect trip for a few days. This guide will focus on a 3 day trip, giving you the best places in Budapest to visit, so that you can spend as much time exploring and as little time planning.
Day 1: The arrival
- St Stephen’s Basilica
- Budapest Eye
- Fashion Street
As I mentioned, Budapest is an amazing city to explore by foot, so much so that you likely won’t even need to take transportation to get about. Your first day here, you should definitely start by seeing the famous parliament buildings. Head over to the north side of the city and admire all that parliament square has to offer. There are endless picture opportunities, as they look so stunning in real life.
Next you should head south to St. Stephen’s Basilica, it should be less than a 20 minute walk. In front there is a square with lots of cute cafes; I would highly recommend stopping here for a coffee as you admire the view of the basilica. This is also a great time to relax and fight off the jet lag.
Right around the corner you will find the Budapest eye. You can go for a ride if you’d like, to get a bird’s eye view of the city and river over top of the surrounding buildings. Even if you don’t ride the eye, there is a large park at its foot where you can relax for a bit and take in the beauty; this park is also a great place for enjoying street food from nearby vendors, allowing you to immerse yourself in their cultural food.
Day 2: The Buda side
- Fisherman’s Bastion
- Lion’s Gate Bridge
Did you know that the east side of the river is called Buda and the west side of the river is called pest, making up the city, Budapest? Today we are going to head over to the buda side of the silver, also known as the east side of the river. You could either walk here across one of the bridges, or take the local metro underground. When you get to the other side of the river, you will be able to see the parliament buildings; this is quite a sight and of course the perfect photo opportunity.
I would suggest walking over the Lion’s gate bridge to get to the other side of the city. This green bridge is extremely iconic, and gives you such a nice view of the city and river along the way. This bridge is also a great opportunity to see the famous yellow trams pass by, and gives you the most iconic Budapest experience.
Once you are in the Buda side, you should definitely head over to the fisherman’s bastion. It is an amazing sight and has so many little areas to explore. At the top of the bastion you will see a stunning castle; across from the castle there is a lookout point where you can see the entire Pest side of Budapest. This is personally one of my favorite views in the world! I would suggest heading up here in the evening before sunset, and the city will be absolutely glowing as the sun hits it at the right angle.
Day 3: Final day in the city
- Great Market Hall
- Thermal Baths
For your last day in Budapest, try to visit some shops and get even more immersed in the Budapest Culture. The great market hall is near the lion’s gate bridge, and is a massive two story indoor market. Inside, you will find locals selling their goods all over, I personally found it to be the most authentic Budapest experience. It is also a great opportunity to try their food and connect with the locals.
Afterward, you should head over to the thermal baths. If you want to make sure you get a spot, I would recommend getting tickets ahead of time. You should also bring your own flip flops, as you cannot enter without them and they are very expensive to buy at the baths. These baths are also an iconic budapest experience, and are the perfect way to relax and end your time in this great city.